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Characterizing dynamic communication in online eating disorder communities: A multiplex network approach

Characterizing dynamic communication in online eating disorder communities: A multiplex network approach
Characterizing dynamic communication in online eating disorder communities: A multiplex network approach
Growing evidence shows that social media facilitate diffusion of both pro-recovery and anti-recovery information among people affected by mental health problems, while little is known about the associations of people’s activities in sharing different types of information. Our work explores this question by analyzing a large set of Twitter conversations among users who self-identified as eating disordered. We use clustering algorithms to identify topics shared in online conversations and represent interpersonal interactions by a multilayer network in which each layer represents user-to-user communication on a different topic. By measuring structural properties of the multilayer network, we find that (i) the same set of users form social networks with different structures in communicating different types of information and (ii) exposure to content on body image can reinforce individual engagement in anti-recovery communication and weaken engagement in pro-recovery communication. By measuring structural changes in a sequence of temporal, multilayer networks built based on users’ conversations over time, we further find that (i) actors previously engaged in pro-recovery communication are likely to engage in anti-recovery communication in the future and (ii) actors in anti-recovery communication have frequent entries into and exits from such communication system. Our results shed light on the organization and evolution of communication in online eating disorder communities.
eating disorders, social media, multilayer network, network dynamics
Wang, Tao
c728baeb-cc3f-4948-bf1a-8d63ed60ea74
Brede, Markus
bbd03865-8e0b-4372-b9d7-cd549631f3f7
Ianni, Antonella
35024f65-34cd-4e20-9b2a-554600d739f3
Mentzakis, Emmanouil
c0922185-18c7-49c2-a659-8ee6d89b5d74
Wang, Tao
c728baeb-cc3f-4948-bf1a-8d63ed60ea74
Brede, Markus
bbd03865-8e0b-4372-b9d7-cd549631f3f7
Ianni, Antonella
35024f65-34cd-4e20-9b2a-554600d739f3
Mentzakis, Emmanouil
c0922185-18c7-49c2-a659-8ee6d89b5d74

Wang, Tao, Brede, Markus, Ianni, Antonella and Mentzakis, Emmanouil (2019) Characterizing dynamic communication in online eating disorder communities: A multiplex network approach. Applied Network Science.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Growing evidence shows that social media facilitate diffusion of both pro-recovery and anti-recovery information among people affected by mental health problems, while little is known about the associations of people’s activities in sharing different types of information. Our work explores this question by analyzing a large set of Twitter conversations among users who self-identified as eating disordered. We use clustering algorithms to identify topics shared in online conversations and represent interpersonal interactions by a multilayer network in which each layer represents user-to-user communication on a different topic. By measuring structural properties of the multilayer network, we find that (i) the same set of users form social networks with different structures in communicating different types of information and (ii) exposure to content on body image can reinforce individual engagement in anti-recovery communication and weaken engagement in pro-recovery communication. By measuring structural changes in a sequence of temporal, multilayer networks built based on users’ conversations over time, we further find that (i) actors previously engaged in pro-recovery communication are likely to engage in anti-recovery communication in the future and (ii) actors in anti-recovery communication have frequent entries into and exits from such communication system. Our results shed light on the organization and evolution of communication in online eating disorder communities.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 March 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 April 2019
Published date: 1 December 2019
Keywords: eating disorders, social media, multilayer network, network dynamics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429987
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429987
PURE UUID: e7abeeb6-26fb-4e43-b2f1-98ac4d4913ad
ORCID for Antonella Ianni: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5003-4482
ORCID for Emmanouil Mentzakis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1761-209X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 09 May 2019 04:01

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